Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thank You to Our Volunteers


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Evidence on Smoking in the Workplace.

A recent poll released on November 16th, 2009 reported that the majority of smokers worldwide support smoking bans in the workplace. The survey was conducted by RTI International and Harris Interactive.

They surveyed some 3,500 employees who smoke and more than 1,400 employers, in 14 counties. They ask about workplace smoking and smoking cessation. The study shows nearly three fouths of smoking employees and nearly 90 percent of employers express that the workplace should be smoke-free.

The survey, sponsored by Pfizer, found employees thought that they spend an average of one hour a day smoking at work and 70 percent did not think it had a negative financial impact on their work place. But about half of the employers stated they did believe that smoking had a negative financial impact on their company.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Anthony Flecther, M.D, Honored for Work on Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission

Dr. Anthony Fletcher, a local cardiologist, Past President of the American Heart Association South Central Affiliate Board of Directors, and Past Chair of the Central Arkansas Board for the Association was honored on Wednesday, October 28th. Fletcher was honored for his service as a founding member of the Arkansas State Tobacco Commission and has served for the past eight years. The Commission was formed when the state began receiving dollars from the Master Tobacco Settlement lawsuit.

Also honored were General Bill Lefler, D.D.S. who served as the Chair of the Commission and Dr. Omar Atiq of the Cancer Institute. All three were honored at the luncheon held at Trapnell Hall in Little Rock. Each were founding members of the Commission that has the task of oversite for the seven components of the state programs set forth in Initiated Act 1 0f 2000.

Honoring Fletcher - Aaron Black, Executive Director of the Tobacco Settlement Commission for Arkansas

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Little Rock Prepares for “Fight of Our Life” Against Stroke Tour


Kirk Franklin Fight of Our Life Health Tour

The “Fight of Our Life Health Tour” is a seven-city concert tour that will land in Little Rock on Sunday, October 25 at the North Shore River Walk during Central Arkansas’ Cityfest with Luis Palau. In each tour city, the American Heart Association held auditions for local Gospel artists or groups to either perform with Franklin or be his opening act. Local gospel group “True Praise” was chosen to perform with Franklin. Also scheduled to appear at CityFest are gospel artists: Truby, Anthony Evans, Craig Morgan, Toby Mac, Living Sacrifice, Bread of Stone, Seventh Day Slumber, Newsboys and Cayerio.

Cityfest will also feature world-class skateboarders, BMX team riders, X-Games freestyle motocross demos, even surf shows and a Family fun Zone for youth. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death and a leading cause of long-term disability among African-Americans. The African- American population has almost twice the risk of suffering first-ever strokes as compared to Whites, and African-Americans ages 35-54 have four times the relative risk of stroke.

To increase awareness and educate the African-American community about their risk, Grammy award-winning Gospel artist Kirk Franklin has teamed up with The American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke Movement to launch the “Fight of Our Life Health Tour.” The theme is taken from Franklin’s 2007 album “The Fight of My Life” and uses the hit single “Declaration” as the underlying message of the campaign.

“Stroke is a serious health issue that is claiming the lives of our loved ones and we’re bringing increased awareness to help stop this devastation in our communities,” says Kirk Franklin. “I have teamed up with the American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke Movement to bring the Fight of Our Life Health Tour. We’ll have concerts in seven cities with the hopes of empowering people and educating them about how to take control of their health. It’s time to stand up and do something about the thousands of people who are dying every year from stroke.” At each stop, thousands of concert-goers will hear an empowering message through the music, and Franklin will personally ask them to take the “pledge”—to make a declaration to take control of their health, reduce their risk for stroke and learn the warning signs of stroke.

“Stroke is a devastating and pervasive disease in our community, yet we have not done enough to educate and facilitate prevention,” said Senator Tracy Steele, Stroke Health Ambassador. “Partnering with Kirk Franklin will expand awareness and hopefully motivate us to change our behaviors. He is an anointed lyricist and musician who has an amazing way of connecting with people. And he walks the talk – practicing a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise.”
About Cityfest and the Luis Palau AssociationCityFest is the wrap-up celebration of the Season of Service, a partnership with municipalities, churches and agencies to serve the needs of homelessness, families in need, health and wellness, education and neighborhood revitalization.

Produced by the Oregon-based Luis Palau Association in partnership with hundreds of local churches, businesses and individuals. Palau Festivals are faith-based celebrations featuring national recording artists, world-class action sports demonstrations, and activities for kids, teens and families. Since 1999, more than 8 million people have attended Palau festivals on four continents.

About Kirk Franklin: Kirk Franklin is the biggest selling Contemporary Gospel artist in the history of SoundScan, with over 14 million albums sold to date and over 20 #1 singles at Gospel radio. Franklin changed musical history in 1993 with the release of his debut album, KIRK FRANKLIN AND THE FAMILY, the first Gospel album to sell more than one million units. Franklin’s latest CD, THE FIGHT OF MY LIFE, was awarded two 2009 GRAMMY® Awards for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album and Best Gospel Song for “Help Me Believe.” It follows his previous, RIAA-certified platinum CD, HERO, which remained in the Top 10 on the Billboard charts for close to two years after its release. To date, the musical trendsetter has garnered 7 GRAMMY Awards; an American Music Award; 35 Stellar Awards (gospel); 12 Dove Awards (CCM); 4 NAACP Awards; 2 BET Music Awards, a Soul Train Award and numerous others. In March 2009, Franklin resumed hosting the second season of the BET original series, SUNDAY BEST. The entrepreneur not only serves as host of the program, the channel's nationwide search for the next best gospel artist, but co-executive produces the series. A devoted husband, Franklin and his wife Tammy have been happily married for 13 years and are proud parents of four children.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heart Attack Rates Drop after Smoking Bans Become Law

Heart attack rates drop after smoking bans implemented and continue downward over time
Please take a look at this story about a recent study on smoke-free air laws. We have known for sometime that smoke-free laws reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. But now from this recent study we know reduced exposure to secondhand smoke will reduce heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer over the long term. However, more and more studies are showing that communities that pass smoke-free laws are seeing an immediate and significant reduction in heart attacks after the laws go into effect.

Check out this recent study published on September 21, 2009.

Click on this link to read article.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Volunteers visit with Senator Mark Pryor On Healthcare Reform


Past President of the Central Arkansas Board of Directors, Dr. Russell Melchert, and Barbara Kumpe, Government Relations Director for Arkansas visited with Senator Mark Pryor during the August Recess for Congress. Dr. Melchert was able to present the Association key messages for Healthcare rreform for the Association. They are:

  • Avalibility - healthcare for everyone

  • Affordable - healthcare regardless of age, gender or any other factors

  • Adequate - healthcare for all Americans regardless of prior health problems

  • Understandable - provide better, more easily understandable information about their heatlh insurance benefits, cost and quality.,

Pryor was also presented messages from volunteers across the state for his support of the HEART for Women Act of which he was a co-sponsor.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Arkansas Celebrate Third Anniversary of Smoke-Free Air!


Barbara Kumpe-Government Relations Director speakers to supporters

On July 21st volunteers from across the state came together to celebrate the third anniversary of the state’s Clean Indoor Air Law. The law was passed in a special session of the Arkansas Legislature and signed into law by then Governor Mike Huckabee in April of 2006.

The law requires all public places to be smoke free. Juniata’s, a local Mexican restaurant in downtown Little Rock hosted the event and according to the manager they have and continue to enjoy a smoke free venue for the employees and customers. The restaurant and bar are a local music venue and from all indications going smoke free has been a good thing for performers, customers and employees.

What is your favorite smoke-free restaurant in the state? Tell us below in the comments section...personally I’m a fan of Just Like Mom’s in Sherwood.

Obesity remains No. 1 health problem for kids in 2009

Childhood obesity outranks all other health problems as the No. 1 health concern for children in the United States, topping drug abuse, smoking and bullying, according to a report by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.This is the first survey year in which obesity tops the list for Hispanics, blacks and whites. In the 2008 survey, childhood obesity was ranked 6th by Hispanics and 3rd by blacks as the biggest child health problem.

Kids and parents are encouraged to visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation website for fun information and easy ways to improve your health.

But what do you think we can do to get kids more active?

Alliance Recognized by CDC

Speaking of the Alliance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with its “Pioneering Innovation Award” for advancing policies and environmental strategies to prevent and control obesity.

The award was presented July 29 at the CDC’s “Weight of the Nation” Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Alliance was founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation to reduce childhood obesity by 2015 and empower children to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Alliance works to positively affect places that can make a difference in a child's health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor's offices and communities.

Little Rock Parks Go Smoke Free

For the past twenty months or better, the Coalition for A Tobacco Free Arkansas along with American Heart Association worked with the City of Little Rock on a smoke-free parks law. Hooray!! On October 1, 2009 things will change---October 1st is the date Little Rock’s smoke-free/tobacco free policy goes into effect. The entire public, many who suffer from heart and other chronic diseases will now be able to enjoy the great outdoors without concern of secondhand smoke exposure that can trigger a heart attack.

On July 15, 2009, City Manager, Bruce Moore took a giant pro-health step as he approved the proposed departmental smoke-free/tobacco free parks policy for all Little Rock parks. The tobacco-free policy approved by Mr. Moore came via a recommendation from the Park Commission and will reduce exposure of our youth to tobacco products.

Will this make you and your family visit parks more often?

El Dorado Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Tabled

In other smoke-free news, volunteers in El Dorado packed the City Council Meeting on July 23 only to be disappointed. The City Council and the lead sponsor chose to “table” the ordinance that would have strengthened the Clean Indoor Act of 2006 for city bars and restaurants. This means the proposal was not voted on or debated.

Both sides were disappointed that the council did not act on the requirement that would have made all bars and restaurants smoke free in the city limits of El Dorado.

The current state law allows bars and restaurants to allow smoking if they do not at any time allow anyone under the age of 21 in the facility. El Dorado was the first city in the state to move forward with strengthening the state law but the issue will have to wait for another day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Volunteers Visit with Senator Lincoln on Healthcare Reform

Volunteers Amber and Diana Boulton and Wonder Lowe visited with Senator Blanche Lincoln on Wednesday, August 12th. The visit was conducted during the August Congressional Recess. They were delivering the American Heart Association's message on health care reform which includes the following priorities:

  • Avalibility - healthcare for everyone

  • Affordable - healthcare regardless of age, gender or any other factors

  • Adequate - healthcare for all Americans regardless of prior health problems

  • Understandable - provide better, more easily understandable information about their heatlh insurance benefits, cost and quality.

Senator Lincoln was also presented thank you messages from volunteers across the state. The messages were from participants of the Association's Go Red For Women movement that is designed to impower women to take control of their heart health. Lincoln is a co-sponsor of a federal piece of legislation the HEART for Women Act that will provide screening and educational components for women of all socio-economic populations. The bill is on the current Congressional agenda.

From left to right: Amber Boulton, Diana Boulton

Senator Blanche Lincoln and Wonder Lowe

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care Reform-What to Ask in a Town Hall

With the health care reform debate sweeping the country, many politicians are turning to Town Hall style meetings to answer questions and get feedback from their constituents. This is a great opportunity to voice your concerns on the current state of health care and how it can be improved.

We encourage You’re the Cure advocates to participate in these Town Hall meetings and share how health care reform can improve outcomes for heart and stroke patients. Here are some tips when participating in a Town Hall:

Tell Your Story

First and foremost, you should share your personal story.

• Has a preexisting heart condition or stroke made it difficult or impossible for you
or a loved one to get health insurance?
• Have you struggled to afford health insurance for yourself or your family?
• Have you reached the maximum for your insurance coverage and now struggle to
pay the bills out-of-pocket?
• Do you struggle with complicated insurance forms and processes that make it
difficult to get the care you need?
• Have you been denied treatment that your doctor says is needed?
• Is the cost of necessary medications forcing you to make other sacrifices?
• Do you have difficulty seeing the healthcare provider or specialist you need to
• If you are a healthcare provider, have you witnessed your patients going without
needed care and suffering poorer outcomes because they don’t have health
insurance coverage?

Your story will help illustrate for lawmakers the urgency of our request and the need to do something now to reform our ailing healthcare system.

Ask Your Question

In addition to you personal story, you should ask how the Representative/Senator will
address your struggles with the healthcare system.

• What will you do to make sure people can afford the healthcare they need?
• How will you ensure that all Americans have access to the best care possible?
• What will you do to ensure that quality healthcare is available in all areas of our
country for all Americans?
• How will you ease the red tape, ensuring that people get the care they need
without unnecessary administrative barriers?

Your Conclusion

However you phrase your question- the conclusion of your message should be “Please
move forward on healthcare reform quickly - and in any reform efforts, please correct
MY problems(specify the problem)with the current system”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Little Rock Parks Move to Smoke Free


For the past twenty months or better, the Coalition for A Tobacco Free Arkanas lead the efforts along with American Heart Association and many other health partners and supporters, including the YES Team members worked with the City of Little Rock on a smoke-free parks policy. Speaking specifically, community advocate, Joe Arnold is to be commended for his relentless efforts to gain a smoke-free park policy for those who suffer from severe respiratory problems whereby they are prevented from enjoying the many activities offered in Little Rock Parks. But on October 1, 2009 things will change---October 1st is the date Little Rock’s smoke-free/tobacco free policy goes into effect. The entire public, many who suffer from heart and other chronic diseases will now be able to enjoy the great outdoors without concern of secondhand smoke exposure that can trigger a heart attack.

On July 15, 2009, City Manager, Bruce Moore took a giant pro-health step---he approved the proposed departmental smoke-free/tobacco free parks policy for all Little Rock parks including golf courses. The tobacco-free policy approved by Mr. Moore came via a recommendation from the very progressive Park Commission.

Let’s thank Mr. Moore and the Park Commission for setting the example that parks are meant to promote community wellness and tobacco free policies fit with this idea. Tobacco-free policies establish the community norm that tobacco use is not an acceptable behavior for young people or adults.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thank You Tour

Arkansas volunteers for the American Heart Association from all across the state conducted Legislative Thank You Tours to several state legislators. The tour was designed to thank decision makers on passing legislation that will have a life saving impact for years to come.

The targeted legislators were Senator Tracy Steele and Representative Gregg Reep who were lead sponsors of the tobacco tax increase bill that passed during the 87th General Assembly. Additional tour visits will be conducted throughout the summer.

The major piece of legislation was the 56 tobacco tax increase. With this bill the state will fund a statewide trauma system, Community Health Centers, provide funding for a statewide stroke registry, funding for automated external defibrillators for school across the state and many other health care needs.

All of those programs will address heart disease and stroke and reduce the death and burden caused by cardiovascular diseases.

The other legislation critical to heart and stroke was the passage of the AED/CPR Antony Hobbs, III Act, which requires all public schools to have on campus an automated external defibrillator and school personnel trained in CPR. Senator Steele was the lead sponsor of this bill as well.

Pictured left to right - Valarie Wade, Barbara kumpe, Rep. Gregg Reep, Janet Winslow, Wonder Lowe, Russell Melchert, Ph.d. and in front Ashton and Jordan Dollar.

Congress Moves Closer to Increasing Funding for NIH research.

In a July a Congressional subcommittee approves a 3.1% increase in research for the National Institute of Health. In a statement AHA President Clyde Yancy, M.D. commended the committee for their work:

“This increase, during these tough economic times, demonstrates a renewed national commitment to sustained and predictable funding growth for biomedical research. We urge the committee to maintain stable funding for 2011 when the temporary resources from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire,” Yancy said


What Moves U Challenge receives health information award


The What Moves U Challenge – a joint program of the American Heart Association and National Football League – has been honored with a National Health Information Award. The awards recognize the nation’s best consumer health information programs and materials.
The What Moves U Challenge received a Silver Award in the “Total Health Information Program” category. It was chosen from more than 1,000 entries judged by a national panel of health information experts.

The awards program is coordinated by the Health Information Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for consumer health information programs and materials.

Adult obesity rose in 23 states last year

Adult obesity rates increased in 23 states last year, and didn’t decline in any, according to a new report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to the report:

· Mississippi had the highest obesity rate, 32.5 percent, for the fifth year in a row
· Oklahoma ranks 6th most obese at 29.5% for adults.
· The childhood obesity rate is also at 29.5% but that ranks 33 among all states.

According to the report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009,” obesity-related costs to Medicare and Medicaid are likely to grow significantly as the Baby Boomer generation ages, because of the large number of people in this population, the high rate of obesity and obesity’s negative health impact.

See F as in Fat 2009.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank You to Go Red for Women Sponsors

Click on the links below and watch vidoe of key sponsors of the American Heart Associaiton's
Go Red for Women Campaign. Thank you to these companies for their support this year.

Arkansas Heart Hospital:



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Arkansas Volunteers Conduct Thank You Tour

Left to right Wonder Lowe, Paige,Laine & Kristi Pennebaker and Valarie Wade
Pictured left to right Kristi Pennebaker, Senator Steele, Laine and Paige Pennebaker.

Volunteers from the American Heart Association dropped by State Senators Tracy Steele’s office on a Thank You Tour, June 25th. The Tour implemented by volunteer and Central Arkansas Board members Wonder Lowe, Kristi Pennebaker and her two young daughters Laine and Paige, and Valarie Wade was designed to thank state decision makers for their work on behalf of the citizens of Arkansas with regards to heart disease and stroke healthcare.

Senator Tracy Steele was the lead sponsor on the state tobacco tax increase. The revenue from the 56 cent increase is designated to fund a statewide trauma system, community health centers and numerous other healthcare initiatives set forth in Governor Beebe’s healthcare plan for the state. Included in the money is some $300,000 for a statewide stroke registry that will help determine the states needs with regards to stroke treatment and emergency response. Steele was also the lead sponsor on a bill to require all public schools in the state to have on campus an automated external defibrillator ( AED) and school personnel trained in CPR by May 2011.

The Antony Hobbs, III AED CPR Act of 2009, was named in honor of a young basketball player Antony Hobbs, III who died during a Parkview High School Basketball game in January of 2008 due of sudden cardiac arrest. Steele also secured $1 million dollars to help fund the placement and training and the revenue will be generated from the 56 cent tobacco tax..

Steele continues to move heart and stroke legislation through the process to make Arkansas a healthier place to live and work. In the past Steele was the lead sponsor on a bill to address stroke the state’s third leading cause of death and worked to pass the state Clean Indoor air bill that make all public places including restaurants smoke free.

The tour will include state and federal legislators in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Benton, Bryant, Conway and Newport between now and July 15th . Watch for other Tour events on this blog spot. If you have questions on any of the legislation addressed call or e-mail Barbara Kumpe, AR Government Relations Director - 501-379-1182 or

Monday, June 22, 2009

Years in the Making "FDA to Govern Tobacco" Watch Bill signing Today June 22, 2009

In an historic moment for public health and tobacco control, President Obama at 2 pm today will sign into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the bill to give the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products. The signing ceremony will be held in the White House Rose Garden and is scheduled to be carried live on C-Span 3 and CNN. You can also watch on the web at:

Thanks to everyone across the country who has worked so hard to make this victory possible.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Arkansas In Top Ten in CPR Training Week

Arkansas ranks number ten in people trained as of Tuesday, June 9th for National CPR & AED Awarness Week. 5740 individuals across Arkansas were trained in CPR. Volunteers in Community Emergency Cardiac Care Training Centers all across Arkansas participated in this national project. The Association's goal was to train 1 million people in CPR. Numbers are still coming in so the tally is not complete.

Keep watching to see if Arkansas stays in the top ten.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

National CPR AED Awareness Week June 1-7, 2009

On June 1, 2009 the American Heart Association will kick off National CPR AED Awareness Week that will run until June 7th. Our goal is to train 1 million people nationwide. Training Centers all across Arkansas are participating some by providing extra classes and some providing free class.

To locate a class near you or to see how many people have been trained in Arkansas go to

In Arkansas we have 37 Training Centers that have numerous sites connected to their Center. You can also find a class near by calling the American Heart Association at 1-888-277-5463.

Here are the Arkansas Training Centers

Medical Center of South Arkansas
University of Arkansas Medical Science
Crowley's Ridge Technical Institute
Five Rivers Medical Center
Univ of AR Comm College at Hope
North Arkansas Medical Center
St. Johns Hospital - Berrvyille
Lifesaver Associates
St Joseph's Mercy Center
UAM College Of Technology-McGehee
Arkansas Methodist Hospital
AHEC - UAMS - Pine Bluff
Washington Demilitarization
Baxter Regional Medical Center
NorthStar CPR Instructors
AR Childrens Hospital
Southern Hills
Arkansas Department Of Labor
Baptist Health Medical Center - Little Rock
American First Response
St. Edward Mercy Medical Center
NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital
Medic One Training Center
Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
Rebsamen Regional Medical Center
St. Vincent Health System
Northwest Medical Center - Washington County
Conway Regional Health System
Arkansas Fire Academy
Washington Regional Medical Center
National Park Medical Center
Veteran's Administration Medical Center
Emergency Education Assocates
Jones Center for Families
Community & Professional Resource Center Inc.
Arkansas Heart Hospital

Rememer you never know when you might need CPR. Most heart attacks happen at home and most likely are a family member. Learn CPR Today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Go Red for Women Event in Conway Supports Heart and Stroke Issues


Ladies Conway participated in the American Heart Associaitons Go Red for Women luncheon on Tuesday, May 12 in support of women’s heart and stroke health issues. Over 250 women participated in the event along with state's First Lady Ginger Beebe.

Everyone one was asked to send a special message to Senator Blanche Lincoln for her support and co-sponsorship of the federal legislation the HEART for Women Act. The bill will provide screenings for heart and stroke risk factors for women of all ages. Participants also sent thank you messages with regards to Lincoln’s co-sponsorship of the bill that will the Food and Drug Administration to have regulatory authority over tobacco.

Tonya Thomas of Conway Sends Thank You Message to Senator Lincoln
for her co-sponsorhip of the FDA bill to Regulate Tobacco

Ladies sign Paper Doll Campaign in support of HEART for Women Act

During the luncheon guests could pay for opportunities for gift packages filled with handbags, paintings, jewelry and many other items. The ladies had the opportunity to give in a special appeals to support heart and stroke research, which is the mission of the American Heart Association.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

National Lobby Day Heartwarming Story

Here is an incredible and heart warming story from the Arkansas Delegation for National Lobby Day April 21, 2009. Mrs. International, Laine Berry, world title holder took time out of her busy schedule to lobby the Arkansas Congressional Delegation. But during her day's activities she had many people that stopped her and enjoyed having their picture taken. You will want to see and hear the story of one young admirer of Mrs. International. Here is his story told by his father.

My son & I was recently in Washington DC. We stayed at the Hyatt on the Hill. Your conference was going on at the same time we were there. During our visit Mrs International came into the lobby. My son being a teenager noticed her immediately of course. As she walked through the lobby she took time out for a couple of photos. One of those photos was with my son Randall (19). While I qreatly appreciate Mrs International's graciousness for my son's photo opportunity I found it ironic that he was one of the ones she took her photo with..... After all she could not know anything at all about his story..... You see he could have been there with your group.... He is also a survivor.... At 2 days old he underwent his first open heart surgery. At 2 years old major reconstructive surgery.... Then at 16 after cardiac arrest he had a partial transplant and he now has a pace maker / defiblilator. There was no way she could have known that the young man she was standing by was anything more than a bystander. I wish to thank her for her kindness and generosity to my son. I have no way of knowing how to contact her other than to hope you will pass this information on from a father who has watched his son go through hell and then to see him light up like he did with a simple picture.

Curtis Winder

Many lives are impacted daily by the Americn Heart Association and our efforts through our Advocacy department. This is just one of the many wonderful stories and one life that was saved due to heart and stroke research and prevention.

Thank you Mr. Winder for sharing Randall's story.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Go Red for Women Attendees Support Heart For Women Act

Participants at the Little Rock Go Red For Women Luncheon were asked to support a federal piece of legislation, the HEART for Women Act. Laine Berry, Mrs. International, Arkansas' own Global Beauty Pageant Winner and a native of Conway, ask participants to send a message to their Federal Congressional members in support of the bill. Berry is the states Advocacy Committee Chair and a strong advocate for heart and stroke issues. She has traveled across the United States and spoken at numerous events in support of heart health. Her platform is heart and stroke issues.

Pictured below - Laine Berry and a local attendee signing on to the paper doll campaign in support of the HEART For Women Act.

The Little Rock Event was attended by some 700 women and Arkansas' First Lady Ginger Beebe. See video of event below.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meeting with Senator Blanche Lincoln


Kevin Berry, Laine Berry, Barbara Kumpe and Dr. Russell Melchert are pictured after their final meeting on lobby day. They had a very successful meeting with Senator Blanche Lincoln, who is a long time supporter of the AHA and it's agenda.

American Heart Association American Stroke Association - National Lobby Day April 21, 2009

View the openning ceremony for the American Heart Association, American Stroke Association's National Lobby Day in Washington DC. The Arkansas Delegation included Russell Melchert, Ph.D, Central Arkansas Board Chair, Laine Berry, winner of the global pageant Mrs. International, and her husband Kevin Berry. Assisting them was Arkansas Government Relations Director Barbara Kumpe.

Volunteers Head to Nations Capitol to Lobby Arkansas Congressional Delegation.

Watch for additional pictures from their meeting with Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The Arkansas Delegation has arrived in Washington DC!  Stay tuned over the next few days for photos and updates on the progress they make with our nations legislators. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Arkansas Session Ends after 88 Days

The Arkansas 87th General Assembly ended on Thursday, April 9 after 88 days. Legislators will return in May to complete any unfinished business and then Sine Die. All in all the session was very positive in many different aspects.

The major accomplishment for heart disease and stroke was the 56 cent tobacco tax increase on all tobacco products that funds the Governor’s Health Initiative, which includes the following:
· A statewide trauma network
· Funding for Acute Stroke Registry
· Funding for Automated External Defibrillators and CPR training for schools
· Funding for Community Health Centers of Arkansas
There are numerous other programs that will receive funding under the Governor's Health Initiative the price tag will be some $85 million.

Other tobacco related bills that passed and signed into law this session are: smoke free college campus’, tax credit for cigarette receptacles pending funding available, fire safe cigarettes, tobacco control issues with regards to border sales and tax prices, confiscating tobacco products and possession of tobacco by youth.

A bill that requires all public schools to have an automated external defibrillator on campus and CPR trained school personnel was signed into law by Governor Beebe. This bill named in honor of a young high school basketball player that died of sudden cardiac arrest at a basketball game in January of 2008 was named the Antony Hobbs, III Act. The bill sponsored by Senator Tracy Steele has funding of $1 million dollars from the state increased tobacco tax and is to be implemented by May 2011. Another bill by Senator Kim Hendren provided an additional $125,000 for AEDs and was part of a general improvement bill that passed during the session. See previous story on this Blog.

Several additional bills covered funding for tobacco control programs within the Department of Health, Tobacco Control Board, Tobacco Settlement Commission and Minority Health Commission. Some bills passed included issue like outlawing novelty lighters, training for Emergency Medical Services personnel, Health disparities and two Resolutions with regards to National Wear Red Day.

According to Laine Berry State Advocacy Committee Chair, “This has been one of the most positive and successful sessions for heart and stroke issues that we have had in recent years.”

Monday, March 30, 2009

NW Arkansas Walkers Registers As You're The Cure Members

NW Arkansas volunteers challenged by snow, wind and rain still put on a great Heart Walk on Saturday, March 28th. The event scheduled for Pinnacle Hills Promenade had to relocate at the final hour on Friday. The event moved to the Hyper Building on the U of A campus but from the set up and enthusiam of all the walkers and volunteers a little bit of snow and sleet was not going to dampen their efforts.

The Walk was a great event, our congratulations go out to new staff member Stephanie Daniels and others members of the NW Arkansas office under the direction of Cindy Hudlow. At last count they had raised over $415,000. WOW Great Job.

Volunteers at the Walk joined the Association You're The Cure network and sent messages of thanks to state lawmakers for their support on the AED CPR bill that recently passed. The bill named in honor of a high school student in Little Rock who died on the Basketball court in January of 2008 is now the Antony Hobbs, III Act of 2009.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fire Safe Cigarette Bill Goes to Arkansas Governor

Fire Safe Cigarette Bill Sent to Governor

Arkansas will be come the 40th state to pass legislation to require all cigarettes sold in Arkansas be fire safe cigarettes (reduced ignition propensity). What does this mean - it will requires the cigarettes be made of special paper that will extinguish itself if not puff in a certain length of time.

The bill, by Representative Steve Harrelson, passed both the House and Senate and now is in the Governors office for his approval.

HB1402 - Cigarette Fire Safety Act Creates the Arkansas cigarette fire safety standard act; concerning the reduced ignition propensity standards for cigarettes sold in the state of Arkansas; creates the cigarette fire safety standard fund.

This is one more positive step in tobacco control for the state of Arkansas.

Monday, March 23, 2009

AED CPR Bill signed by Governor Mike Beebe

The AED CPR bill SB312 the Antony Hobbs, III Act was signed into law on Thursday, March 19th at 10:00 a.m by Governor Mike Beebe. Joining the bill sponosrs and volunteers from the American Heart Association were Hobbs parents Mr. and Mrs. Antony Hobbs. Antony died of sudden cardiac arrest on January 2, 2008 at a Parkview High School Basketball game.

With the passage of this bill all school campus' across the state will have an automated external defibrillator and trained school personnel in basic CPR. Impelemntation should begin immediately and is scheduled for completion by May 2011.

Friday, March 13, 2009

AED/CPR Bill to Be Voted on Monday!

We are only One Step Away from putting an AED on every school campus and training school staff in CPR! SB 312 will be voted on by the full House Monday March 16.

Please click here and tell your House member to vote YES and protect our children at school. Take action before Monday to let your voice be heard. (Note: You will also be thanking your Senator for already voting Yes!)

Immediate intervention of CPR is the only thing that can keep the heart beating until emergency response teams arrive on scene. An AED is the only device that can shock the heart when sudden cardiac arrest occurs. These two components are lifesaving measures that could avert a potential tragedy at school.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

AED/CPR in Schools only One Step Away

The Arkansas House Education Committee passed the AED/CPR in schools bill! It will now go to the full House for a vote. If you are unfamiliar with this bill it will put an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on every school campus in the state.

AEDs are the life saving devices that can shock a heart back to its normal rhythm after is goes into cardiac arrest. The bill will also provide training for school staff to be trained in CPR. AEDs and CPR are the best way to save a life when a sudden cardiac event occurs.

All children should be protected while at school and this law will help ensure their safety throughout the school day and at athletic events and practices.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

AED/CPR in Schools Measure Takes Next Step

As mentioned below the AED/CPR in school bill has been passed by the Arkansas Senate. It will now go to the House and is expected to be heard in the Education Committee in the coming days. Please tell your House member to support this bill!

All it takes is two clicks to send your message of support. 1. Click here to see the letter you will send. 2. Fill in your contact information so we can match you with the appropriate district and click “take action”. Thanks!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Arkansas Senate Passes AED/CPR in schools bill

Breaking News: Arkansas Senate has passed the AED/CPR in Schools bill 33-0. This legislation would require an AED for every school campus and provide CPR training for school staff. Thanks to all the You’re the Cure advocates who contacted their Senator on this issue!

It will now go to the House for consideration. CPR and AEDs have proven to be lifesaving techniques when used after someone suffers a sudden heart attack. All schools deserve to have AEDs and staff trained in CPR. Stay tuned for more information on how you can help get this bill out of the House and on the Governor’s desk….

Friday, March 6, 2009

Visit with Senator Lincoln, Senator Pryor and Representative Snyders staff


Your Arkansas Legislative committee is making huge strides this session here in our home state, but we also are taking an interest in what our national legislators are working on. Wednesday morning committee chariman Laine Berry delivered our national agenda to the offices of Lincoln, Pryor and Snyder. Our delegation looks forward to a successful lobbyday in April!

Session Update: Advocacy in Action

It has been a busy, yet exciting time at the Arkansas State Capitol. We have seen success on some of our priority issues like the 56 cent tobacco tax increase that will reduce smoking and save millions of dollars in health costs. But we still have work to do if we want to accomplish all of our goals.

We need your continued support if we want to build healthier lives free of heart disease and stroke. Here is an update on the issues we have been working on:

Tobacco Tax Increase
What it Does: It will increase the tobacco tax by 56 cents, reduce smoking in the state, and fund key health programs like the two issues below.
Where the Bill is: It has been passed by both chambers and signed by the Governor!
What can I do? Click here to thank Governor Beebe and members who voted YES.

AED/CPR in School Bill
What it Does: This bill would place an automated external defibrillator (AED) on all school campuses and will train school personnel in basic CPR.
Where the Bill Is: It has been passed by a Senate committee and will be heard by the full Senate Monday!
What can I do? Take action before Monday and tell lawmakers to support the AED/CPR bill for all schools across Arkansas.

State Trauma System Act
What it Does: This bill would allow the state to create a statewide trauma system that will improve emergency care in Arkansas.
Where the Bill Is: It has been passed by the Senate, passed by its House committee and will be voted on by the full House today.
What can I do? Please take Action Today and tell lawmakers to vote YES on the Trauma System bill.

The State Trauma System Bill was passed by the House today and will now go to the Governor! Click on the link above to thank members that voted YES.

With your help we can continue to make an impact in the fight against heart disease and stroke in Arkansas.

Barbara Kumpe
Arkansas Government Relations Director
909 W. 2nd Street
Little Rock, AR 72201

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

AED/CPR Bill Passes First Step

A bill that will put an Automated External Defibrillator in every school and provide CPR training for school staff has been passed by a Senate Committee. It will now be voted on by the full Senate on Monday March 9th. Watch video below of Senator Steele Introducing AED CPR Bill to Education Committee

View AED Demo by Paula Smtih R.N. during Senate Education Committee

Please tell your Senator to vote YES and help protect our children while they’re at school. CPR and AEDs have proven to be lifesaving techniques when used after someone suffers a sudden heart attack. All schools deserve to have AEDs and staff trained in CPR. Because of your help passing a tobacco tax increase - - funding is now available for this program. All we have to do pass it! Again, please take action at the link above! Sincerely, Barbara Kumpe Government Relations Director Heart Disease and Stroke. You’re the Cure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Governor Beebe signs HB1204


Our thanks to Governor Mike Beebe for signing this historic piece of legislation, to Speaker Robbie Wills for his impassioned support, and to all those you saw the bright future for the healthcare of Arkansans that this Act will make possible!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thank Our Government Officials who lead the way to a Healthier Arkansas!

Earlier this week, Governor Mike Beebe signed a 56 cent tobacco tax increase into law. If you have not already done so, please thank those lawmakers who supported this bill. Click here to take action now!

But most of all, thank you for sending messages to the capitol and making your voice heard! This is a great step for public health in Arkansas as increasing tobacco taxes have proven to reduce tobacco consumption and raise funds for other health related projects. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Arkansas. In addition, we spend $812 million per year in tobacco-related health care costs.

Please thank supporters of this bill. Your message will go to your State Representative and State Senator (if they voted Yes), Lt. Governor Bill Halter, and Governor Beebe.

Friday, February 13, 2009

HB1204 PASSES! Tobacco Tax Increased in Arkansas

Today the Arkansas Advocacy Committee, the Step Up Coalition, and the
volunteers for the You're the Cure movement celebrate victory in
Arkansas. The members of the Arkansas Senate passed HB1204, which
raises the tobacco excise tax by 56 cents, by a vote of 28 to 7. On
February 4th the House passed the bill by a vote of 75-24. Now, the
Bill will be signed by Governor Mike Beebe, and will raise almost 86
million for the state of Arkansas. These funds will provide a state
wide trauma system for the state, funding for AED's in our public
schools, CPR training for public school staff, as well as numerous
other public health initiatives.
We on the Advocacy committee cannot thank the volunteers who came
together at press conferences, media events, on news programs and in
email and phone call campaigns. Your efforts prompted our law makers to
take action that will reduce the smoking rates among our youth, and save
countless lives in the state.
We have added some quick video clips which show the House Rules
Committee preparing to debate/vote on the measure, and an event
organized to garner public support for automated external defibrillators
and CPR training in public schools. Greg Brown of the Baptist Training
Center arranged this event and we collected over 100 signature in about
and hour and a half.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


You're the Cure-Arkansas. Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner Converted into Blogger Template by Bloganol dot com